Choosing the best streaming services as you cut the cord for good
Luke Bouma • September 29, 2015if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
You’ve made the decision to cancel cable. You’ve taken the first step by choosing the set top box that is best for you. Now you need to choose a streaming service that will bring you the TV shows and movies you want.
Unlike choosing a cable service where you have a subscription to one service, cord cutting means you are likely to need several different subscription services in order to receive all the content you want. However, they are surprisingly simple to obtain through your set top box, and most services will offer you a free trial period. The streaming services you choose will be decided by your answers to the questions, “Which shows and movies do I want, and when do I want them?”
Here is a short rundown of the top three streaming services and what they offer.
Netflix is the largest, and probably most well-known, streaming service. You’ll find a huge library of back content and original shows on Netflix, but do not expect shows to be added right after they air. Typically, popular season shows like Family Guy on Fox are added a year after the original air date.
New shows and movies are added to the Netflix library almost weekly. Also, Netflix produces a wide range of original TV shows from comedy to drama and documentaries.
Cost: Streaming only starting at $7.99 per month. Netflix offers a free trial subscription so make sure to give it a try.
If you want your shows the very next day, then Hulu is the service you should check out. They have an impressive lineup of networks including Fox, NBC, ABC and even some CBS content. In addition to these, they have a substantial lineup of cable networks such as MTV, Spike, Discovery, FX and more.
On top of next day access to popular shows, Hulu also has original shows, movies and back seasons of some of your favorite shows. They provide a full line up of available networks to get a sense of what kind of content you’ll have access to.
Cost: $7.99 per month with limited ads or $11.99 without ads. If nothing else, take Hulu up on their free trial offer.
Also, Hulu recently launched Hulu Live TV, which is something new — and better — than what you’d get with your old cable TV provider. It’s certainly worth looking into.
Amazon Prime Instant is similar to Netflix but with added benefits. It has an enormous back catalog content and original content available for streaming. They even have exclusive rights to older seasons of shows from HBO. However, not only does Amazon Prime give you a substantial library of streaming content, Prime also includes free two day shipping, as well as free music and books among other services.
Another great feature of Amazon Prime Instant is that it allows you to buy or rent newly released movies — sometimes before they are even sold on DVD. You can also buy individual episodes of TV shows starting at just $1.99.
Cost: $99 a year. There is a free trial for Amazon Prime Instant but it is hidden.
If you want your content live then make sure to check out the all new Sling TV. Not only do you get 20 channels for $20 per month with no contract, you also get access to WatchESPN for live sports. Do you want additional channels of live content, like every ESPN channel? Check out their $5 add-on packages. They also have other add-ons such as news, drama, and kid’s channels.
Choosing the right streaming service or services for you will depend largely on your viewing habits, your favorite TV shows and movies, and whether or not you feel the service is worth the subscription fee once you’ve experienced the free trial. And if free sounds good to you, come back for next week’s article because we’ll be covering free legal options for streaming great content. Have you tried one of these services before? Do you know of a service with awesome content that wasn’t mentioned? Tell us about your favorite streaming services in the comments below.